The Easiest Way to Trivialize Wisdom

The Easiest Way to Trivialize Wisdom

As I am sure many of you have heard by now, on January 2nd, Logan Paul (a popular YouTuber for those who may not recognize the name) received widespread backlash about a video he posted in which he filmed a corpse hanging from a noose while exploring Japan’s Aokigahara. The Aokigahara is referred to as the “Sea of Trees” and it’s more popularized nickname, Suicide Forest, since it is the second most popular place in the world for one to commit suicide inContinue reading “The Easiest Way to Trivialize Wisdom”

19 Life Lessons I Learned at 19

19 Life Lessons I Learned at 19

August 8th was the first day of an entirely new decade in my life. The big 2 0. Twenty years old! That’s T W E N T Y years old! It seems unreal and almost like the end of an era. 19 was that awkward in-between year, kind of like 9, 12 or 17; the ages that come right before the more “monumental” ages (according to society and cultural norms that is).  In all actuality,  every age is “monumental” in its own right. Each age comes with its own challenges and in those, its own lessons! These are the ones I learned at 19:

Candid Birthday Photo (Ninas) 1. You can either let the day run you, or you can run the day.

2. It isn’t who you are that holds you back, but who you think you’re not.

3. Happiness isn’t measured according to your circumstance, but by your attitude towards your circumstance.

4. You are your own worst enemy.

5. Blessings can be disguised as burdens.

6. It is better to choose significance over prominence.

7. Comparison is the thief of contentment.

8. Say what you mean, and live what you say. Otherwise, say nothing.

9. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. 😛

10. The longer you spend doing the wrong thing, the longer it’ll take to get to the right thing.

11. No one can be better at being you, than you.

12. There is only one ultimate truth, but two ways to learn it; Experience or Listening

13. It’s okay to not have it all together all of the time!

 14. Growth is inevitable.

15. It’s the little things in life that matter (:

16. Sometimes, you get into periods in life in which you can’t be understood by others.

17. Old habits get increasingly harder to discontinue the older you get -.-

18. When you don’t have anyone to look up to, it might be because you’re that person for someone else.

19. For something that can be so hard to do, letting go is so freeing!

 Learned something in your 19th year that you didn’t see here? Please share your piece of wisdom with others below! 

Learning to Be Alone

Learning to Be Alone

Cool Down (2)

Often times life throws us curve balls. We can be skipping along one path holding the hand of a dearly loved friend or group of friends and all of a sudden find that we are at a fork in the road. To make matters worse, the road directly ahead of you is only wide enough for one person to walk on… which means that you have to walk alone.

The word that so many seem to be afraid of: Alone. Meaning no one but you. Party of one.

It can be a scary concept to grasp, especially if you genuinely love the company of other people. After all, it’s nice to have people to share life with. Part of being human is having that God-given craving for connection and community with other people. I’d be lying if I told you that being alone is the best thing in the entire world because, well, it just isn’t. Some of the most priceless moments we get to experience in life are those shared with others. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when being alone is enjoyable but it is when God unexpectedly changes your plans so that you are alone with Him that loneliness starts to seem like the chore you really dread doing.

I say chore because during that time, you truly are at work.

You’re doing you, learning all about your capabilities, your weaknesses, and building upon your strengths. But I want to share a secret with you: You’re not the only one doing the work.

God is working too, and a lot harder than you. He is actually handling the biggest task: Molding you to be ready for the next big thing.

Think of God as the coach and you as the boxer. You may have won your last match, but now you will be fighting someone with even MORE skill, even MORE tact, even MORE energy, and even MORE speed. You just won’t be ready for that right away and you certainly won’t be ready for it playing tag team with your buddies.

You have to test your own will power by training for the next big thing alone.

That means you have to master the training you are going through, the training God is carefully and tactfully assigning you to, before you are ready to fight the next battle. So please, don’t squander the time you have!

I want to encourage you to use this time of loneliness to the best of your ability by letting God prepare you for your next big thing in giving you time to grow stronger and wiser. Get on your knees and actively pursue Him in prayer so you can hear His voice clearly as he guides you during this time. When your human desire for connection and community arises, take that to the Coach(; He knows when you need the refreshment only Jesus can provide.

I’ve listed a few bible verses below that I’m hoping will help you along in this season of your life. I suggest writing the ones that speak to you down and keeping them handy. That way if you ever feel your thoughts begin to down spiral into a pool self-pity, you can refer to one of these for a boost of hope, confidence, and surety.

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. 

-John 4:14

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 

-Jeremiah 29:11-13

But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. 

-Romans 8:26 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you 

-1 Peter 5:7 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds 

-Psalm 147:3 

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 

-Isaiah 41:13 

The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed

-Deuteronomy 31:8 

 

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

-John 14:3 

Use this time wisely friend. You are being strengthened, refined, and perfected as you even sit here reading this post! Make the most out of the time you have now, and surely you will find yourself expressing gratitude for every moment God worked on making you fit for the next stage.

 

 

Lies About Forgiveness

Lies About Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.”
– Dag Hammarskjold
 As I was in the car on my way home a few days ago, I heard the radio dj report a recent murder (one that happened this past Easter Sunday) in which the shooter uploaded a video to Facebook wherein he shot a 74-year-old man by the name of Robert Godwin Sr.
His reasoning?
His girlfriend drove him to do it. That’s the claim he makes in the video. Not that he has personal issues with the man he shot or that he even knows the man at all, but just in a fit of rage (which he claimed was his girlfriends fault) he decided to take 74 year-old, father of 10 children, Robert Godwin Sr.’s life.
What I heard next really resonated with me:

The family of Robert Godwin Sr. has offered their forgiveness to the man who allegedly shot him on Sunday and uploaded the video to Facebook.

“Each of us forgives the killer, the murderer,” Godwin’s daughter, Tonya Godwin-Baines told local TV station FOX 8. “We want to wrap our arms around him.”

“I want him to know that God loves him,” Godwin-Baines continued. “We love him. Yes, we’re hurt. But we have to forgive him, because if we don’t forgive him, the Bible says your Heavenly Father won’t forgive you.”

Added Godwin’s tearful son, Robert Godwin Jr.: “Steve, I forgive you. I’m not happy [with] what you did but I forgive you,”

-taken from http://people.com/crime/facebook-killer-video-victim-familiy-forgives-killer/

When I heard this over the radio, they played the clip of the children actually saying this and they were getting these amazingly selfless words out through their heart aching, grief filled cries.
How incredible that they would take such an attitude towards the man who killed their father. Such an attitude that they would wish and even consider wrapping their arms around this man.
It really spoke to me in that it was a reminder of the multitude of sins that forgiveness covers… which can make the things that I find quite hard to forgive very miniscule on the grand scale of things.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest attitudes to possess. And it is just that, an attitude.

It’s easy to think that forgiving is more of an action. You’re only ever faced with the act of forgiving someone if said person did something that requires your forgiveness.
Even if someone apologizes for their wrongdoing (which doesn’t always happen) it’s easy to say “That’s okay” or “I forgive you” and still have a heart harbored with bitterness.
 This type of forgiveness is not true forgiveness at all.
Like all hard things, an attitude of true forgiveness is one of the most rewarding things that benefit you in your personal growth.

Lie #1: Forgiving = Forgetting and Moving On

If that were the case, we’d be running into the same exact situations over and over and over again, and that is not growth.
In fact, it takes a strong person to accomplish true forgiveness in that you remember the negative experience, learn from it, take from it what you need to, and say “Thank you for waking me up, and letting me know what I need to be more careful about next time around”.

Lie #2: Forgiving = Merely Tolerating the Person You Forgave

Whatever wrong anyone has done to you is merely evidence of their inward struggle with their sinful nature, not who they are. We all struggle with something. No one should allow the wrong others have done to taint his own character by how he goes about treating those who’ve wronged him.
Not only is it not fair, but truthfully we are all in need of forgiveness of our sinful nature. We are not denied that by God, so who are we to deny someone else of that?
True forgiveness is allowing people the room to be human and loving them, in spite of their humanity.

 Lie #3: Forgiving = Keeping Record of Wrongdoings, So You Can Bring It Up Later

There is a fine line between remembering a wrongdoing so you can do all you can in your power to avoid it and remembering so when someone makes a mistake, you can remind them of all their past mistakes.
This not only shows a lack of forgiveness but a lack of love.
 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Lie #4: Forgiveness= Ghosting On Someone Whose Wronged You

 Ghosting is an easy and comfortable answer. Since when does anything morally good in life come from something easy and comfortable? Typically, it’s the hard things you do that dish out the best benefits.
You do not have to be besties with someone who has wronged you, but you don’t have to shun them either. I used to be extremely guilty of this  but in no way did it allow me to learn how to love people in spite of their imperfections. Even if those imperfections are at my loss.
Instead it caused me to kind of unknowingly adopt this attitude of self-righteousness and maybe even a little pride.
The most perfect example of an attitude of forgiveness is that no matter the magnitude of the wrongdoing, you acknowledge that people who are hurting hurt other people. God doesn’t deem you nonexistent when you sin, so who are you to deem others nonexistent when they sin against you?

Lie #5: Forgiveness= Three Strikes and You’re Out

This is the hardest one to come to terms with, but you can’t argue with the bible. Jesus himself describes true forgiveness best:
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven”
-Matthew 18:21-22
 That’s 490 times…. truth be told… I mean tell me if I’m wrong but no one lives long enough to forgive each and every individual person that comes into their life 490 times. Do we even know anyone long enough to? I think that was the point here.
Learning how to exhibit an attitude of true forgiveness proves itself difficult and emotionally distressing at times (can you imagine the distress that the children of Robert Godwin Sr. felt when they found out about their fathers sudden death?) But there is so much freedom in letting things go and remembering that at some point or another, you’ll require the forgiveness of someone else too. Mainly God’s forgiveness, but even from those you come into contact with as you live your life.

 So I have two questions for you.

How far do you think is too far to extend true forgiveness to someone?
And secondly, Is that same measure the extent to which God forgives you?
 If the answer is no, it may be time to reconsider your idea of forgiveness.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

-George Washington Carver

Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Being Single

Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Being Single

 Take Yourself out to Your Favorite Restaurant

News Flash: Food. is. food.

It doesn’t matter who is there enjoying it with you. Take your butt off of that couch and go indulge in the heavenly aroma of a freshly cooked meal from your favorite restaurant.

In the movie the Last Holiday (a movie about a woman who finds out she only has a few short months to live and therefore decides to blow her money doing the things she’s always wanted to do before she dies) there is a scene that has always stood out to me.

The woman decides to go to this lavish, high end restaurant. She arrives to the restaurant in a gorgeous red gown and is visibly awe struck about where she is. The waiter takes her to her table, hands her a menu, and she sits down oh-so-graciously and looks at the menu. She has a beautiful light about her. Here she is sitting all by herself in this gorgeous restaurant, and yet she is perfectly satisfied and beaming with joy! She laughs with the waiters, engaging in small talk as they give her the food she ordered. When they leave she’s just enjoying herself, eating divine cuisine, savoring every bite. Just her.

 That’s what being single should look like all the time.

 Invite your single friends over for a Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange Party

This one could be a lot of fun! You can decide to make it a regular gift exchange and pick a cap of maybe 20 bucks or so? OR you can make it fun and have a white elephant (what is that?) valentines day themed gift exchange.

If you want it to be super bomb, it’d be a cool idea to decorate. If you’re gonna do it at all, you might as well do it big!

 Have an at-home Spa Day

If you don’t feel like going out, bring some self-care inside. I love days like these! You can go buy a face mask, nail polish, and a good movie (or just surf Netflix) and chill at home. Maybe even make a light desert, or just go pick one up. Order takeout or pizza and relax.

It doesn’t have to stop there either of course. All of these suggestions can be done with just you as well as with a friend. No biggie. The more the merrier, the less… the merrier.

  Get dressed up & go to a place you’ve never been before.

There is no way you’ve been everywhere in your city… unless you have. In either case, look for a place you haven’t been before and try it out! You could love it or you could hate it but either way, you get a fun little adventure out of it.

 Spend a day on detox

Okay, so maybe Valentine’s day is not the day you want to spend pigging out. Instead, spend the day doing things to boost your health! Give yourself a certain health centered schedule to stick to that day.

Maybe you go to bed earlier the night before Valentine’s day so you can wake up earlier. Maybe then you can do that morning jog you “never have time” to do.. (mhm, we’ve all heard that one before..). Plan out your meals so that whatever you eat that day is healthy in some way.

Try to spend the entire day doing something active and eating healthy. 

Maybe you could even go so far as to trying to be a vegetarian for a day? No? Yes? It’s just a suggestion..

Volunteer!

I can’t think of a more love centered deed than serving someone else without asking for anything in return. See if there is a local nursing home that could use some help. Or maybe try to volunteer for a soup kitchen. Google local places where you can volunteer.

You may make someone’s day by just being there to help, you never know! 

This Valentine’s day is another I am spending single. Some might say that with a bit of a sad tone, but not me. It’s become something I’m actually proud to say at this point! With the goals I have set to accomplish in my early twenties, I am not sure I would be able to accomplish them as easily with a boyfriend.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the positive in whatever relationship status you have… nine times out of ten.. there always is! If you’re single, what are you loving about being single right now? And if you are in a relationship, what is it about your relationship that you love?